The Cincinnati Bengals are seven-point favorites for their Week 4 matchup against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night, despite two-straight defeats.
Cincinnati lost 29-17 at home to the Denver Broncos in Week 3, one game after beating beaten by bitter AFC North foe the Pittsburgh Steelers. Yet, oddsmakers still feel confident about awarding the Bengals a touchdown’s edge against a Dolphins team less than impressive despite gaining their first win in Week 3.
The Dolphins beat the Cleveland Browns, but needed overtime to do it. Running back Jay Ajayi scored in sudden death to hand the Dolphins a 30-24 win in Florida.
But the Miami defense still allowed a Browns offense with Cody Kessler under center to pile up 430 yards. Perhaps that’s why OddsShark has given the Bengals a -7 spread on the moneyline.
However, it still seems generous considering Cincinnati’s offense has hardly lit up scoreboards in recent weeks. After all, the Bengals were held to under 20 points by both the Broncos and Steelers.
Line: CIN (-7) Over/Under: 43.5
Elite wide receiver A.J. Green has missed the support provided by tight end Tyler Eifert, who remains a game-time decision. Meanwhile, the Bengals have struggled to mount a credible rushing attack to take the heat off quarterback Andy Dalton.
Cincinnati may lack the firepower to make the Dolphins struggling defense pay, something illustrated by these numbers from OddsShark: “Offensively, the game matches up the Cincinnati Bengals No. 25-ranked offense (18.67 PPG) against a Miami Dolphins defense that ranks No. 15 at 22.33 PPG.”
But the Miami D’ is more talented than its current numbers and performances suggest. Ndamukong Suh, Cameron Wake and Mario Williams can still make life miserable for quarterbacks. Further back, safety Reshad Jones is one of the most underrated defensive backs in the NFL.
Miami’s veteran defenders and Cincy’s sputtering offense make betting on the under a smart option. It looks very good based on this trend, per OddsShark: “The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Cincinnati’s last 8 games when playing at home against Miami.”